The Manhattans – The Manhattans (1976) – Lp
The Manhattans are an American popular R&B vocal group. originally from Jersey City, formed in 1962 with members: George “Smitty” Smith, Edward “Sonny” Bivins, Winfred “Blue” Lovett, Kenny “Wally” Kelley and Richard “Ricky” Taylor.
Artist: The Manhattans
Title: The Manhattans
Label: CBS Records
The Manhattans is the self-titled album by R&B vocal group The Manhattans, released in 1976 on the Columbia label. The Manhattans was the group’s third Columbia album; the previous two (There’s No Me Without You and That’s How Much I Love You) had sold respectably to the R&B market, but failed to garner any significant crossover attention. The Manhattans however went on to become commercially the most successful album of the group’s career, peaking at #16 on the Billboard 200 and #6 on the R&B listings.
With seven of the ten tracks recorded at the famed Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia, the album is, in terms of vocal style and production, very much in the elegant, slick and sophisticated tradition of the premier male Philadelphia soul vocal groups of the early to mid-1970s, such as The Delfonics and Blue Magic, although the influence of the then burgeoning disco sound is also evident on the more uptempo tracks such as “Searching for Love”. The album’s commercial success was driven by the release of the single “Kiss and Say Goodbye“, which took off immediately in all markets and became the group’s signature song. With its distinctive 60-second spoken introduction by Winfred “Blue” Lovett (also the writer of the song), the single (edited by almost a minute from the album version) topped the R&B chart for one week in May 1976, then crossed over into the pop market and also spent two weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in July. “Kiss and Say Goodbye” also became a major hit in the UK, reaching #4 and pushing the album into the top 40. Later in 1976, the single “Hurt” – a cover of a song which had previously been a hit for Roy Hamilton and Timi Yuro in 1954 and 1961 respectively – also rose to #4 in the UK, despite having barely scraped into the top 100 in the U.S. when released there in late 1975.
The album has maintained its critical reputation for consistently strong material, production values and vocal expertise. “Under the direction of Philly groove master Bobby Martin, the group utilizes its streetwise doo-wop delivery on a mixed bag of sounds. These include uptempo numbers…as well as orchestrated sounds. Although the disco-era rhythms certainly add a bit of nostalgia, at the center of The Manhattans is the sextet’s deceptively complex…vocal blend.”
1. Searching For Love (4:38)
2. We’ll Have Forever To Love (3:09)
3. Take It Or Leave It (3:17)
4. Reasons (3:29)
5. How Can Anything So Good Be So Bad For You? (3:10)
1. Hurt (3:03)
2. Wonderful World Of Love (2:47)
3. If You’re Ever Gonna Love Me (3:08)
4. La La La Wish Upon A Star (3:27)
5. Kiss And Say Goodbye (4:28)